Trina Machacek: Crazy YouTube mechanic

I changed the oil in my yellow 1991 Chevy Tracker. After being the “helper bee” for the past 42 years, it was time for me to step up to the plate and give this a go by myself. I had no doubt I could do it. No doubt I wouldn’t run over myself. No doubt — if I messed up, some kind person would fix whatever I might screw up. With those no doubts I headed out one bright morning to get to it. Now, don’t get ahead of me here…

I won’t bore you with all the tiny details of my adventure. But! Yes, an oily “but.” But maybe just this one. I got the plug out and drained the oil from the oil pan, put the plug back in all very straightforward. Crawled out from under the little buggy and got back upright. Something that seems to take a stitch longer as the seasons come and go. That, and I needed to stop and let the world catch up with my eyes as I sat up. When did that start happening?

The filter was next. Luckily, it’s easy to get to from the top all I needed was the filter wrench. Yes, I know what a filter wrench is. But where the filter wrench was, now that was the question. I knew I had gotten it out of the toolbox and brought it over to where I was “working.” It was there when I climbed under the car but gremlins apparently took it as I was mechanic-ing. Looking around, I pushed the full oil drain pan over a little with my foot to be sure it was under the filter to catch oil when and if I ever got it off. Then I saw a little glint floating in the oil in the pan. Yes, it was the filter wrench. I can’t be the only one this has happened to.

After cleaning the wrench with solvent the rest of the oil change was a piece of cake. I patted myself on the back, because there was not another soul around for me to crow to. It was a big step for me to do this by myself. The first time I was allowed to “help” I poured the oil into the oil filler thingy with all the finesse of a 3-year-old trying to pour orange juice from a gallon jug into a four ounce paper cup. This time I used a funnel. Live and learn right? Now that I mastered oil change I moved on like I had a Mr., uh make that Miss Goodwrench diploma framed hanging on my office wall.

My truck has a light on, on the dash. That sounds like a good opening line for a joke. Ha, ha. This light has been on for a while. I got instructions about getting one of the computer readers to find out why the light is on. It’s not like it is telling me to change the oil. Been there done that! No it seems the mass air flow sensor needs changing. Aarrgghh. Hey, I changed oil I am invincible now. Just like I had a brain I turned to — YouTube. Amazing what you can learn there. When this light came on, via YouTube I learned how to clean the sensor. Don’t clean the sensor. That doesn’t work. I did have to ask my neighbor to help me. I think he felt sorry for me. He saw me, truck parked in front of the garage with the hood up and a huge red question mark floating over my head. So he came over and after I went through getting the computer reading thingy, found out the problem, got some spray stuff used to clean the mass air flow sensor, found the mass air flow sensor under the hood, he bee bops over and looks at the tools, the rags, the cleaner, my face and he says to me, “Crazy YouTube mechanic.”

Yep, that’s me. A YouTube mechanic. Now that there’s a brand new mass air flow sensor in a box on the backseat of the truck? I’ll be out soon, hood up on my truck, huge red question mark floating over my head waiting for my neighbor to come out of his house and see me. Yes, he’ll come over. What a guy!

Trina lives in Eureka, Nev. Find her on Facebook, Instagram or Really!


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